This album collates some of the very earliest Sypha Nadon recordings. All of the songs on this release were originally transmitted in the year 2000, which is when the entity known as Sypha Nadon began broadcasting its futurist symphonies from the lowest levels of the Mauve Zone. "Maggots" was recorded in January of that year, a few weeks before James Champagne began scrying Sypha's frequencies in a digital format (via the Voyetra Digital Orchestrator, a program which he uses to this day). As such, this is the oldest surviving track from the archives. #13, by comparison, was Sypha's very first MIDI track, recorded on the very night James first began using the Voyetra as a scrying device. "S.C.U.M. Manifesto" was the first actual song Sypha created via MIDI, recorded that same evening (in February).
"S.C.U.M. Manifesto" was also included on the very first official SN release, "First Report" (released under the band name Death Head Moths). A cassette only release, it was recorded on May 18, 2000. Sadly, the original tape, of which there was but one copy, is no longer operational, and many of the masters were lost over the years. Still, a few of the original tracks have survived, and they are included in this anthology, those songs being "Butterfly Sky," "The Storm," "Les Fleurs Du Mal," and "Bataan Death March." "First Report" was followed by a second cassette tape a few months later, named "Distant" (released under the band name Vickie Miner). This one was recorded in the summer of 2000, a year before James figured out how to record songs in MP3 format (the manner in which he taped songs from his computer at this earliest time period involved him just playing the songs in real time on his computer while he captured it directly on tape using an old beat-up Toshiba boombox). With the exceptions of "Birdcage," "The Ignored," "Losing my Mind Slowly" and "Flies," all the original files for the songs on this tape are no more. But because "Distant" is such a prime example of the early SN sound, we have decided to include it on this anthology. The methods involved were just as primitive today in 2007 as they were initially. We simply turned the tape on and recorded the songs into the computer via a tiny microphone that can only record sounds in the faintest manner. We then amplified the volume to make the songs louder. As a result there's quite a bit of Toshiba tape hiss captured, but we think it actually enhances the songs... and there's something perverse about the idea of the original cassette tape having better sound quality than the MP3 versions. In any event, "Distant" the tape was heavily inspired by Throbbing Gristle (in particular, "Second Annual Report"), plus Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral." The song "Funeral March" is a very early version of what ended up becoming "Hyla" (see the album "11 Chants For Russolo!"), while the title track "Distant" was taken off side two of "First Report" (where it was called "Dead Soul Stadium"). "Marquis De Sade" samples a keyboard drum, some sounds from "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" plus the catfight scene from "Coffy." The voice sample at the start of "Industrial Introduction" is that of Karras, the main villian of the computer game Thief 2: The Metal Age.
Album artwork designed by James Champagne.
TECHNICAL NOTE: REF: MZR002: We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the sonic past of Sypha Nadon. Due to the age of many of these songs and the primitive methods in which they were recorded it should be noted that the quality and content of this album should not be compared to conventional commercial recordings. In order to make the somewhat unusual sound on this record to be pressed and played back on standard equipment it has been found necessary to cut it at somewhat less than normal volume. Kindly compensate for this by adjustment of volume on your playback system.
Further Sypha Nadon albums may be downloaded here, where they're hosted by the netlabel This Plague of Dreaming (while you're there be sure to check out the other albums that are available there, they're all worth giving a listen to):